As ecommerce’s share of total retail sales increases, so have online grocery penetration rates. In 2024, the online grocery market in the United States is expected to hit $219.9 billion. 

Instacart is currently one of the most popular online grocery stores in the US, and the company has seen its market share balloon over the past few years—in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how Instacart’s market share has evolved in recent years. 

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Instacart market share breakdown

A recent report forecasts Instacart’s market share at 21.6% in 2024. This marks a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the previous year’s 21.8%, which was a record high for the company. This means that more than $1 out of every $5 spent on online grocery shopping this year will be on Instacart. This is also the only year between 2017 and 2024 that the company’s market share is expected to fall.

Instacart’s market share has grown tremendously since 2017. That year, its market share was 3.7%, around one-fifth of what it currently is. It grew to 5.9% in 2018, before rising further to 10.2% in 2019, when it surpassed Target to become the third-largest online grocery store in terms of market share.

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In 2020, Instacart’s share more than doubled, to 21.5%. Experts attribute this to the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns, which drove consumers to purchase groceries online. This was so much so that the company had to hire 300,000 additional drivers in one month to keep up with demand.

Since 2020, Instacart’s market share has held relatively steady. In 2021, it maintained its 21.5% market share from the previous year and momentarily became the online grocery company with the second-largest market share, as Amazon’s share fell to 20.9%. A year later, Instacart’s market share increased by 0.1 percentage points, to 21.6%, but it fell back to third place as Amazon’s market share rose to 22%.

Diving deeper, the analysis shows that of the largest online grocery stores (by market share), Instacart is the only one whose market share is not expected to fall at any point between 2017 and 2023. It is also the fastest-growing online grocery store, increasing its market share by an average of 40% per year.

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